Hi everyone, this is a preliminary rough mix I just thought I’d post to get some ongoing feedback on.
I have quite a bit to add to this to finish it off including some more harmonies, some keys, and an entire “prelude” section. However, this is the “meat and potatoes” of the song, so I just thought I’d get some input, so I can apply it as I go along.
Thanks in advance for giving it a listen and providing your input!
You have a good one going. The one thing I’m hearing is that while your voice quality is fine, you kind of sound like your on your tiptoes to sing the verses. If you could find the melody one part down, you’d get a lot of lift in the choruses and sound a touch more in the pocket, when you add the other instruments. Just a thought; I can hear where you’re going with this.
I’m listening at a low volume through my iPad speakers so I can’t say anything with certainty right now, but I can easily imagine those choruses being built up with harmonies. Each chorus could get bigger and bigger until the grand finale at the end. I’m imagining lots of ooh’s and ash’s on the choruses in a similar way that a big gospel choir might sing them, place behind and between your lead vocal. Some harmonies, like the one you have there already would follow the lead and others would be used like (synth pads?). I think you know what I mean.
The end of the song could benefit from a little twist. It’s not bad as it is but I found myself thinking that the end use something to give it more impact.
I think I hear what @StylesBitchley is saying about some spots in the vocal. There was one high note early in the song in particular that caught my attention. I’d be curious to hear if your vocals would benefit from lowering the range a bit. Having said that, I know this isn’t the final product and I’ve already seen/ heard how you improved another song mix of yours that I felt had some small issues with the vocal. Whether it’s re-tracking a vocal line here or there, or using your mixing mojo to make them really sturdy, I know that when this is finished I won’t have anything to criticize. I’m just being nit picky with you because your songs consistently maintain a high standard and that’s what you’re striving for. It sounds quite good already, though.
I found myself noticing the drums at the beginning of the song and I really liked the groove and fill choices. I want to give this another thorough couple of listens to focus on them and other aspects of the song more, because only listening once, using iPad speakers doesn’t really give me a complete and detailed analysis of the song and recording. I’ll put on my headphones later to get a better listen.
Oh, and I kind of like the sparseness and somewhat barebones approach that you got going on here, though I’m sure the final, fully featured version will be just as good, if not better.
Just remembered the solo. I really liked the way you could hear the small details of the strings…Not sure how to describe it……You can hear every little scrape and movement. Tube sounding and organic…Like the sound of wood and string. Anyone who reads this is going to think , “Yeah, sure Sherlock, “Wood & String!!!..…., That’s a goddamn GUITAR!”
Thanks Bob - I really appreciate your input, especially knowing that you truly “walk the walk” when it comes to vocals. This was something I was tossing around in my mind, and wondering if I should try dropping the verses an octave and/or using a slightly lower melody there. I experimented with that this afternoon, and it sounds promising - stay tuned, and thanks again!
Thanks man! I really appreciate your thoughtful input! What you’re describing here is very much along the line of what I have in mind.
Cool - great to get confirmation, and also from someone with great vocal ability such as yourself.
I pretty much gave the drummer carte blanche on this track - I really like how he kept it really simple, tasteful and straightforward. I’m never disappointed with what he comes up with.
It would be great to get any other thoughts you have after a listen on some different systems.
I kind of like it too, and I don’t want spoil with too much filigree. That said, I think the space provides opportunity for more contrast, and to enable the song to “build”.
That’s cool! What you describe is exactly what I was going for, so I’m glad it worked out! I did something a bit different with this solo - I combined two amps.
One is my usual main amp/signal chain - My Vox Big Ben Overdrive into my Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special, with a Carl Martin DeLayla XL delay in the fx loop.
The other is my THD Univalve into my Marshall 2 x 12 cab. I blended the two together to taste. The THD is the ingredient that really gives that organic, “stringy”, highly sensitive vibe to the sound.
Thanks again for putting so much time into sharing down your thoughts!
yeah man this is sounding good. I am digging it and can not think of anything that I would want to hear different or added. As a radiohead fan I could hear you doing some synthy stuff like that in the breakdown solo section but that would be a leap (a really cool leap but a leap non the less) That solo section is really giving me a cold chisel vibe for some reason.
Thanks! Preserving the groove was really important to me, so I’m glad it comes through. My original vision for the groove was actually slightly different, but when the drummer played on it, he injected his own thing into it, so I went with it.
For the left guitar and the solo, signal chain is Strat > Vox Big Ben O/D > Mesa Boogie Lonestar Special (with Carl Martin DeLayla delay in fx loop) That guitar is also run in parallel to THD Univalve > Marshall 2 x 12 with Greenback 25s.
The right channel guitar is Deusenberg Starplayer TV > THD Univalve > Marshall 2 x12
Thanks Eric ! As I said, I have some stuff in mind to add. Hopefully it will be cool.
Very perceptive! You’re absolutely spot on! The track I am actually referencing for the mix is this one:
I just gave it another few listens on headphones, through my laptop. Everything sounds quite good as is. Aside from the little nitpicks that I mentioned above I can maybe add one more small nitpick. Though the bass sounds pretty good as it is here, I felt it needed a little bit of mid range and maybe a slight bit of higher end EQ to make it cut more. The bottom end feels really full but maybe some mids and/ or upper mids would help the attack of the notes come through a bit more. The bottom end is really full and round but maybe a little bit of overdrive or something to make it bite a bit more could be a good thing. It’s really just a personal taste thing.
I really like the quick start of the song and the delay on the guitar. It feels good.
It’s nice to have access to a good drummer that does a great job of tracking. There are drummers that are quite good in a Live setting but have difficulty creating and recording in a studio setting…Also it’s hard to find a drummer that has a decent room and setup to get those acoustic sounds recorded. I’d bet that most typical bar band drummers would have difficulty staying locked to a click. It’s a whole other skill that the “studio drummer” has to learn. I’ve noticed that the drummer you use for recordings adds a lot of flavour and nuances. That adds a lot of value to your recordings. I find that as a guitarist and home studio musician, recording and playing drums is a very big task that requires me to make a very extreme change in mindset when it comes to creating drum parts AND recording them. Particularly acoustic drums! That’s a whole other ball of wax! Oh, and the drummer has to stay focused on the click…or things get can get real dicey! My older brother is a drummer but he’s not the type of guy who you can keep in the studio for too long because he doesn’t have the patience or discipline to see a project through at this point in his life. It really sucks because both him and I have a ton of songs that we wrote together and separately, and these songs could use his drumming chops and input. On the other hand, although I find recording drums by myself to be a PITA, I get some satisfaction out of trying to improve my drum playing and recording chops.
I’m curious to know a bit more about the drummer that plays on your recordings. Is he from the same town as you and do you rehearse your songs together before recording, or do you send him the WAVs/ stems online and do it virtually? Can I ask you how much he charges? I hope it isn’t bad etiquette asking that question, but it might be something that I look into pursuing at some point in the future.
I’m still really liking this sparse version but I’m interested to see what you got up your sleeve for additional embellishments. Might be better to have 2 different versions anyway. Good stuff !
Well, it does have a chorus - 3 of them, in fact! Sorry they are not bigger All the best with your mowing!
Haha, dunno about that… sounds like you nailed it, though!
Thanks for that. The bass tone is the same one I dialled in on the demo. I haven’t really changed it since then, but I’ll take a look at it and see if I can tweak it in final mix.
Haha, funny you should say that, I have something planned for the intro… stay tuned!
I’ve heard your drumming, and you sound like you are a skilled drummer. But as you observed: playing, recording and mixing them from start to finish is another story.
I like playing drums, I have a couple of kits, and I can play some beats, but I’m far from any sort of drummer… Put it this way… the ambition of my productions far outstrips my ability to provide an organic drum groove that matches it.
Nope, he’s in Canada! It’s all done online. I send him my mp3 demos with some instructions in both “full mix” and “no drums” formats, and he lays down the drums in his home studio and sends me the raw multi-tracks (usually around 14 tracks). Turnaround time is about 3-5 days, depending on how busy he is.
Sure, its $50 (US) for a song of 5 minutes or less. Now you know all my secrets. Go forth and produce!
No worries Paul. I get it - you’re impulsive, and you comment in a kind of “stream of consciousness” way… I’d have to be pretty thin-skinned to take offence at that!..
I just really didn’t understand what you meant, so I wanted to understand what you are getting at. Sometimes I find that, if I really pay attention, often people say some really insightful things with “throwaway” comments. That’s why I always dig deeper.
I had to pay extra attention to the lyrics on a second listen, Andrew, as your song ideas are sometimes surprising, before I understood the “live behind the gloss” line was Australian for “glass”, and made for a great rhyme for “farce”. It is so pervasive a change in human social interaction it is easy to not even see. We want to rebel somehow, but can we?
Emotionally it ends optimistically. In actuality it all too often seems vascillating with abject hopelessness, at minimum elements of serious doubt. And even though I think your range sounds very good as is, you are so talented I wouldn’t be surprised if you pulled that off.
Thanks Steve! Yes, the lyrics mine the part of the human psyche that I think is the most interesting, and most realistic - the feelings in between. I personally find music that tells me only one thing pretty boring.
As for the accent, well that’s who I am
I agree, that is why he has played the drums for all 10 songs on the album.
Thanks Tes - They are all amps…I posted all the detail about the guitar signal chain here.
Thanks, I’ll check that when I come to the final mix. Cheers!